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Former Scrap Yard Players Launching Their Own Independent Club

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Professional softball players don’t play for the money. Most can make much more working other jobs, and often struggle to make ends meet when they are playing.

The 18 players engulfed in the controversy surrounding the Scrap Yard Dawgs, an independent professional softball organization based in Houston, are trying to move forward as a new independent unit and using their own resources to continue playing for the summer season.

The players, who are all former Division I standouts, released a “This Is Us” campaign on Friday to “spark necessary change in the softball community” regarding racial injustice in the world. They shared a video on social media and have created a website https://www.thisisussoftball.com/ where people can learn about the cause and donate money to help them stay on the field.

The movement by the players stems from what they called an “insensitive, offensive and ignorant” tweet by Scrap Yard Dawg general manager Connie May before the opening game of a seven-game series with the USSSA Pride, a fellow independent pro team, in Viera, Fla.

The now-deleted tweet, sent from the Scrap Yard Fast Pitch Twitter handle, showed Dawgs players standing for the anthem and read: “Hey @realDonaldTrump Pro Fastpitch being played live @ussssaspacecoast @USSSAPride Everyone respecting the FLAG!

Trump has voiced his displeasure about athletes kneeling during the national anthem, which started with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016. The kneeling is meant as a form of protest regarding social injustice in the country, but some have interpreted the action as disrespecting the flag or the military.

 The Scrap Yard players weren’t aware of the tweet until leaving the field once the game ended. They were blindsided and outraged about being used as a pawn by May to express her independent beliefs. Given the current climate of the country after the killings of several unarmed Black citizens, the players understood how incendiary and tone deaf May’s tweet was.

The players showed solidarity in the aftermath by quitting the team and disassociating with the Scrap Yard organization. They spent the past few days devising a plan to try and keep playing while using their platforms “to raise awareness, empower young women and unite the softball community.” 

The 18 members of the team behind the “This Is Us” campaign are: Monica Abbott, Valerie Arioto, Kylan Becker, Ally Carda, Taylor Edwards, Sam Fischer, Hannah Flippen, Aubrey Leach, Haylie McCleney, Aubree Munro, Cat Osterman, Keilani Ricketts, Riley Sartain, Samantha Show, Delaney Spaulding, Kelsey Stewart, Kiki Stokes and Ashley Walters.

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